Review by Lisa Payne
“You click on horrific news headlines, violence, destruction, terrorism, war because it makes your shitty little lives seem that little bit less shitty.” This is Guns Akimbo in a nutshell.
Miles (Daniel Radcliffe), lives a dull life running from everything. All he really wants is his girlfriend back and some excitement. For fun, on the “worst day” of his life, Miles picks the wrong people to troll. Knock, knock, who’s there? Death squad advance team come to brighten your day by knocking you out and bolting guns to your hands.
The inevitable how do I get anything done with guns for hands scenes before Miles encounters Nix (Samara Weaving), who is queen of the underground gang live-streaming real-life death matches game, Skizm. Miles unwittingly becomes her next opponent. His original strategy is denial and hiding until the game controller, Riktor (Mark Rowley) ups the stakes by kidnapping Miles’ ex-girlfriend, Nova (Natasha Liu Bordizzo) and killing some peeps in Miles’ life as incentive for active participation.
Nix has the opportunity to leave the game after defeating “one last opponent”. We know it’s a lie, however Nix has been in the game since she was young, and is so deep into and traumatised by Skizm, she holds onto that shred of hope. As always “I can take the despair. It’s the hope I can’t stand” line from Clockwise is apt.
Chasing sequences, kill shots, and desperate times make for strange bedfellows. Nix and Miles consequently team up in the enemy of my enemy is my friend scenario to stop Riktor.
Weaving and Radcliffe have chemistry in their scenes together, and there is some social commentary for millennials – get off your screens and live your life.
The soundtrack is exactly as it needed to be and wasn’t turned up to elevensie stupid to drown out the dialogue. The acting is effective, especially amongst the leads, and the action scenes are well-coordinated.
In the end, Guns Akimbo is like a thrill ride. Appealing while you’re in it, and instantly forgettable pap once you’re out.
In Select Theaters on February 28th.